CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
Blu-Ray Review: ‘Take Me Home Tonight’ Features String of Bad Decisions
CHICAGO – Most comedies feature a few key decisions or even just a few moments where you, the viewer, know someone made the wrong choice. Whether it’s something as small as thinking that a punchline works when it doesn’t or something major like the wrong casting decision, modern movie goers are smart enough to tell when they’re watching something dumb. “Take Me Home Tonight,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD is very, VERY dumb.
Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0
“A talented ensemble cast delivers laugh-out-loud performances in this “fun nostalgia trip” (Richard Roeper). When Matt Franklin’s (Topher Grace) high-school crush Tori (Teresa Palmer) shows up at his dead-end mall job, he and his buddy Barry (Dan Fogler) devise a wild scheme for Matt to finally win the girl of his dreams. But only time will tell if Matt can seduce this gorgeous goddess at a wild party and survive an outrageous night of seduction, destruction and debauchery. Take this hilarious comedy home tonight!”
On paper, this thing feels like it should work. But movies don’t exist on paper. So, while you can have the best cast, a great nostalgic concept, a killer soundtrack, and a fun premise, you need to make decisions along the way and almost all of the ones surrounding “Take Me Home Tonight” were bad ones. Let’s start with the casting — Topher Grace (generally likable but boring here), Dan Fogler (straight-up obnoxious in nearly everything but worse here than ever before), Anna Faris (perhaps the best comic timing of her generation given NO CHANCE to show it in a thankless role), Lucy Punch (again, too good for the part), Chris Pratt (ditto), and Teresa Palmer (cute girl, zero chemistry with the male lead. Not one of them feels right.
Take Me Home Tonight was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 19th, 2011
Photo credit: Fox
Bad casting decisions are only half the problem. The idea to make an ’80s “John Hughes movie” twenty-five years later isn’t a bad one but Hughes never made a movie this empty. First, pushing for the R-rating with profanity, heavy drug use, and nudity immediately takes it out of that Hughes world and makes it feel closer to the “Porky’s” rip-offs that went straight-to-video in the early days of VHS. Second, Hughes and his best colleagues knew that character mattered above all else and the characters here simply aren’t interesting. They’re either dull (Grace, Palmer) or trying too hard (Fogler, Pratt, Punch).
But the most important problem with “Take Me Home Tonight” is a simple one — it’s not funny. The worst decision was to green-light a script about one crazy night that really isn’t all that crazy. Sure, there’s a stolen car, a bunch of cocaine, and a bizarre sex scene with Angie Everhart, but it all feels more forced than truly, enjoyably over-the-top. “Take Me Home Tonight” feels much longer than its running time. By the time the sun has come up on this all-nighter, you’ll wish you had stayed home yourself.
o 7 Deleted Scenes
o Cast Get-Together
o Music Boombox
o Take Me Home Tonight Music Video
o Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots
o Digital Copy